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Cleaning Wisdom's Part 2


A lot of competitors sometimes experience bad grouping which normally relates to the weather of the day.

It is not uncommon for some to have their rifle shooting a good centre count one session and then all over the place on the next.

Most shooters blame themselves for what they could have missed in letting a shot away and resulting in a low score but in my opinion some of these low scores are attributed to a badly fouled barrel from the previous weekend , in other words the barrel was not clean to start with.

In most cases with barrels that have had 1000 + rounds through them and their shots wander all over the target for no apparent reason, one should consider if fouling still exists in the barrel even after a rigorous cleaning session .

I had a couple of friends come to me recently with the story that their rifles were losing their accuracy potential and whether the barrels needed replacing.

My first examination with a borescope I was looking for excessive erosion in the throat , I could not find any thing major that would indicate a problem with this area , but for the next four inches there was a carbon build up and it was difficult to detect with a cleaning rod because it was as shiny as the bore .

My suggestion was to give the rifles more attention in the throat area with JB paste to try and remove the build up of carbon (powder residue).

As rifle barrels wear they lose their lustre and as such more attention is required in the areas where this action occurs mainly the first four inches in front of the chamber and the last two inches of the muzzle , if you can push a tight wet patch with Butch's Bore Shine through and not feel any restriction your barrel is probably as clean as it can be , but if you have any doubt about it try this ..

Presuming the rifle has been fired and there is a delay to the next session .

(1) Using a bore guide push a wet patch of Birchwood Casey's Black Powder Solvent through the bore (always muzzle laying downhill)

(2) Push a second patch of Birchwood Casey's Black Powder Solvent through the bore .

(3) Wait at least 2 minutes then using a dry patch push it through (check the contents of the patch to see if any powder fouling exists, if so repeat 1,2)

(4) Using a Bronze brush of the correct size , push it through the barrel and then at the muzzle apply the Butch's , Hoppes , Short Scrub on the brush

(5) Push the Brush at least 8 times through the barrel one way (total passes = 16) then remove brush at the chamber end

(6) Wash your brush in Solvent 1425 (Mobil) or Shellite to remove any action the solvent will have on the bronze .

(7) Push a dry patch through , disregard what it shows as the brush will always leave traces of colour .

(8) Push another wet patch of Bore Solvent through wait 5 minutes then patch it out , this patch should show very little if no colour (blue,green)

(9) If the bore feels rough after you have now cleaned it try pushing a patch of JB paste through about 3 to 4 times then patch it out with solvent

(10) Always make sure no excessive solvent or oils remain in the barrel prior to firing .

You will come to your own conclusion as to whether your cleaning attitude is successful or not as it usually shows in your scores

If the barrel responds in a positive manner after cleaning then the answer is keep it clean ..



The Surgeon

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Last Modified -  14:20 10 Feb 2008